Core fashion business helps LVMH achieve organic sales increase / Image Source: Adobe
  • Organic sales grow 2%
  • Tough annual comparison
  • Positive read for Burberry

Global luxury goods leader LVMH (MC:EPA) eked out a small increase in first-quarter revenue against strong comparable sales in the same period last year, sending its shares up 3% to €807 and temporarily arresting the downtrend of the past month.

Growth was the weakest since the rebound from the pandemic in early 2021, held back by sluggish sales in China, although spending by Chinese tourists in other parts of the world were healthy.


On a headline basis, sales for the three months to the end of March were down 2% to €20.7 billion, but on a like-for like (organic) basis and adjusted for currency headwinds – which were significant in the first quarter – sales rose 3% with a particularly strong performance from selective retailing which includes the DFS luxury travel outlets.

The core fashion and leather goods business grew its sales by 2% on an organic basis to €10.5 billion against an 18% increase in the same period last year helped by new collections by Celine, Dior, Fendi and Loro Piana.

Perfume and cosmetics sales rose by 5% on an organic basis against 10% last year, driven by strong demand for classic Dior fragrances and a revival of Givenchy’s L’Interdit, while sales of watches and jewellery dipped 2% against 11% growth last year.

The weakest performance was from wines and spirits, where revenue fell 12% against just 3% growth last year. The firm singled out weakness in Hennessy cognac sales, which were ‘hampered by a cautious attitude among retailers, which limited their orders in an environment that remained uncertain in the United States’.


The Paris-based group reported a steady increase in revenue in the US and Europe, a 6% fall in Asia excluding Japan – mainly due to tough comparisons with last year and Chinese consumers moderating their spending – and a 32% jump in sales in Japan helped by the weak yen and increased tourism.

For UK luxury firm Burberry (BRBY), the resilient performance of the core fashion business and the strength of Japanese demand will be taken positively as these two factors are crucial to its success.

For drinks group Diageo (DGE), the omens appear less positive with LVMH’s spirits sales down 18% on last year and the firm highlighting a lack of confidence among retailers in the US, the UK company’s biggest market by far, presumably as consumer tastes change.

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Issue Date: 17 Apr 2024